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The 7 Greatest Purple Wines From Napa Valley’s Oakville AVA

The 7 Greatest Purple Wines From Napa Valley’s Oakville AVA

Named for forests of towering oaks that have mostly been replaced by vineyards, Napa Valley’s Oakville—both a town and an AVA—is home to some of the world’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon. One of its most high-profile vineyards is To Kalon, which means “the highest beauty” in Greek. Originally owned and planted by Napa pioneer H.W. Crabb, it is now farmed by a variety of owners including Robert Mondavi winery’s parent company Constellation Brands, University of California Davis, and Beckstoffer Vineyards, which sells its prized fruit to several wineries. Producing some of the most coveted Cabernet Sauvignon in the world, Oakville has come a long way since its origins as a water stop for steam trains in the 1860s.

Two miles wide, Oakville was granted American Viticultural Area status in 1993. More than 70 vintners and growers cultivate grapes on its 5,000 acres of vines, which produce some of the foremost Cabernet Sauvignon and red blends in existence. California’s first “vineyard designate” wine, Heitz Cellars 1966 Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, is from Oakville, and the first perfect score for a wine from California was awarded to another product of Oakville, Groth Vineyards & Winery 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

Elevations rise to 1,000 feet in the Vaca Range on the east side of the AVA, where grapes receive sun late in the day, while afternoon shade is one of the benefits to vineyards planted in the Mayacamas Mountains on the west side, which ascend to a less extreme 500 feet. Meanwhile, at the flat center of the region, valley floor fruit is the recipient of generous sunlight and a steady cycle of morning fog and cool breezes from San Pablo Bay and constant flow of warmer air from San Joaquin Valley to the east. A vast array of flavor and tannin profiles for the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grown here is derived from widely differing soils including alluvial, sedimentary, and volcanic. Here are some of the finest wines from Napa Valley’s true center, Oakville.

Source: Robb Report

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